Since 1999, the Youth Radio Drama Competition, open to secondary level students in Saskatchewan, has focused on writing radio drama plays. CBC Saskatchewan has decided to expand the contest to include new categories for poetry and short story writing. This handbook for the teaching of poetry and prose has been prepared as a companion to the drama handbook.
The categories for the 2007 Youth-Write for Radio, open to Saskatchewan students age 12-18 not yet in post-secondary school, will include:
Both handbooks can be ordered by writing or e-mailing the CBC Gallery producer, or they can be downloaded from the Gallery website. The addresses are as follows:
Kelley Jo Burke
CBC Saskatchewan English Radio Performance
(306) 347 9426 , cell (306) 596 6741
http://www.cbc.ca/gallery/youth.html Two CDs are also available on request, which will provide sample radio plays, short stories and poetry for students to listen to.
Curriculum Connections This handbook is based on the premise that all classroom teaching should be planned, sequential and aimed at achieving learning objectives selected by the teacher. Teachers using this handbook should refer to their curriculum guides to determine how the activities provided here fit into their learning program and their unit plans.
English Language Arts is the most likely subject area for the lessons in this handbook to be integrated into. This will not be a difficult task. To begin with, listening is a major area in all language programs, and what is a radio program if not a listening experience? The writer of material for radio is creating work for the ear and imagining a listener rather than a reader.
In addition to listening objectives, all contemporary language arts curricula include objectives related to the students’ use of expressive language. Writing poetry and stories for the ear rather than the page is a further exploration of the creative writing students already do in the classroom.
Themes and writing ideas for this unit of lessons can come from anywhere. Suggestions will be provided in the lessons here, but teachers can choose comparable themes from their language arts curriculum guides, or any other areas of study in their learning programs. This holds for listening selections as well. Refer to your curriculum bibliographies to supplement the listening selections made available by CBC.
It is not necessary for teachers to teach all ten lessons in this handbook. They can choose, expand and adapt according to their own unit plans.
Common Curriculum Framework
Several years ago, the Education ministries of the western provinces and territories collaborated on a common curriculum framework for English Language Arts. The intention was that the broad learning outcomes developed in the Framework would be used in provincial/territorial curricula, thus creating commonalities across jurisdictions. One of the purposes for this was to facilitate optimum use of resource materials such as this handbook.
In addition to developing learning outcomes, the Framework reinforces the idea that facility with language includes possessing the skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing. These are to be developed and reinforced throughout the teaching of language arts, kindergarten though grade 12. While the latter two (viewing and representing) refer to visual language skills, the first four can all be developed through radio writing and producing experiences.
This handbook has been developed to support two broad outcomes from the Framework, both of which focus on exploring and organizing ideas:
General Outcome: Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences
General Outcome: Enhance the clarity and artistry of language
Teachers will find that, by focusing on these learning outcomes and by developing the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, they will be meeting the goals and objectives of their Language Arts program. For more detail, teachers should study the curriculum guide for their grade and jurisdiction.